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After much debate, I bought a computer strictly for gaming. It is a Windows 7 64-bit OS and has 8 GB of physical memory, and an AMD FX(tm)-4130 Quad-core processor, and the game itself recommends an Intel Core 2 Quad or AMD Phenom with 4 GB memory. My computer, presumably, should meet and exceed these requirements, yes?

Running the program, the initial startup configuration thinks the same and sets the settings up to high quality. Playing the game, however, results in slow, glitchy movement and response times, the FPS is somewhere between 5-15, and the graphic textures are mud. So, I'm running the game at the base settings. it runs, but the FPS is still dodgy, and the textures equally mudded, as expected. But it runs.

Then I got the wild idea to run the resource monitor while playing the game. Physical memory never exceeds more than 2gb. On a further wild hair, realizing I'd never seen the physical memory usage rise above 4gb, ever, I decided to run a second high-graphics game (that runs smoothly, as it should) at the same time as the first. Memory usage pretty much unaffected. Second game runs like a champ, even with the first game in background. Okay.... With resource monitor still open, I opened up two Mozilla browsers and went to Youtube, played two separate HD movies. Memory still plateaued at about 2.6 gb. Opened a word document, Adobe Photoshop CS2 and executed some high-memory image voodoo-- memory at about 2.8 gb. Opened up MSI Afterburner and Kombustor, ran two separate stress tests. All of these programs, running simultaneously, only eeked my physical memory usage up to a whopping 3.24 gb. Assassins' Creed (the second, high graphics game) still ran, if at .15 fps....

As a friend aptly put it, my computer is acting like a car running for all its worth in a single gear. My memory needs to upshift. How do I get that to happen, before my CPU and GPU explode from overwork while the memory just sits?

I've put a similar computer through the same tests, and it accesses its additional memory as I would expect to. So what is the problem with mine? I'm upset that I bought a computer for a specific reason that is doesn't seem capable of doing. Please help!

Edit:

After posting my question, I ran the memory diagnostic tool for Windows, and it indicates everything is functioning as it's supposed to. Ran the game's in-house Performance Tester, and it brings up the System and Video memory as 4095 MB and 4047 MB, respectively.

This lead me to wondering if my system, though claiming to be 64-bit, was running in 32-bit mode. So, on suggestion from a Super-user, downloaded and ran CPU-Z. As far as I can tell, the system is running in 64-bit mode.

Also, the game I'm trying to run is The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings. After running Performance Tester (mentioned above), set settings to high, and game suddenly works, where before, on same settings, it didn't. The game is currently patched to version 3.4, the most recent release.

Graphics card is a NVIDIA GeForce GT 610. Driver is up to date, version 320.49.

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If the BIOS is recognising 8GB, and the system information in control panel reports 8GB of RAM, then you have available 8GB of RAM. If the game is not running as you'd expect my advice would be to check for a patch/software update that may be available. I'd also consider checking for any graphics card driver updates. The key hardware here is your GPU, not CPU or RAM. –  archery1234 Aug 1 '13 at 1:50
    
I am with achery1234 and would also suggest that maybe you run the memory diagnostic. One stick could be bad (this assuming that you have 2x4gb sticks) and you did not mention any trouble shooting other than trying to run a bazillon apps. –  Carl B Aug 1 '13 at 1:54
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In the intel type motherboard bioses, there was always a switch for "extended memory" without it set correctly the motherboard itself limits to the 32bit type addressing. This switch could be called different things, I would check for that first. You have indicated that the USE of the memory never goes over some ammount, But I did not see where you indicated that the System itself does or does not SEE that there is 8G in the system. Using the most simple location | Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\System | To see what the "installed memory" is . 32bit programs are still limited –  Psycogeek Aug 1 '13 at 2:17
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Try CPU-Z. Run the 64-bit portable version and check whether your system is correctly recognizing your RAM. The program will give you a lot of other detailed information too. And as Psycogeek says, your computer might be running in 32-bit mode, where 4GB is the limit. You may be able to confirm it with CPU-Z. –  ADTC Aug 1 '13 at 3:30
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System reports 8 GB RAM, 64-bit OS. BIOS also recognizes the 8 GB RAM. All other programs (Witcher, Assassin's Creed, Photoshop) only see 4 GB (4095 MB, give or take depending on the program I check with). Since everything seems to be running without incident, I'm not going to rip my hair out further. Thanks for the help... pretty much figured it out prior. –  Spiritus in machina Aug 4 '13 at 22:19

2 Answers 2

32-bit programs (and most games are still 32 bits nowadays) can only access 2 or 4 GB of RAM (depending on how they were compiled), regardless of how much you have physically on your 64-bit system. Recommended specs often exceed this just because other things (your OS, browser, etc) will eat up other RAM that it couldn't use anyways.

RAM by itself doesn't do much for framerate anyways. It can help with disk caching for textures, maps, code, etc. However, if you were, for example, sitting in the game staring in a given direction, all the CPU does is calculate physics, AI, and what to show and the GPU renders frames using already-loaded (into its memory) textures and shaders. System RAM doesn't really do anything from frame to frame.

If your frame rate is constantly poor, then your CPU or GPU (or GPU drivers) are to blame.

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At first, I don't think a RAM could get FPS as low as 5-15FPS and this is terrible and unplayable.

Here I will give you some step that MAY help you:

  1. Depending on your Motherboard, go to BIOS and make sure everything related to more than 4GB of RAM is enabled, for ex Intel MB need "Extended Memory" to be Turned on
  2. Download and Run CPU-Z, It's portable and no need to install, open it up and See the available RAM, if it showed you 8GB, then I believe it's not related to BIOS or some settings.
  3. Try Disabling Paging, maybe your OS is paging a lot for some reason, Right click "My Computer" > then from the Left side click "Advanced System Settings" > in the "Performance" section click "Settings..." > then Choose "Advanced" Tab > Under "Virtual memory" section Click "Change..." > Uncheck "Automatically Manage paging.." and select each Partition/Disk, Choose "No paging file" and click set, this will disable Paging, most says this is not recommended but actually with that amount of RAM you will never run out of it.
  4. Sometimes windows uses less RAM if it's configured wrongly, Open "Start" and type in search msconfig (without quotes) and press "Enter" > Click "Boot" Tab > Click "Advanced options..." > Now check the "Maximum memory" and enter the amount of memory you have in MegaBytes, Exit and SAVE the settings, then reboot and see.

I believe the 4th solution will work.

EDIT: and as some said 32-bit Applications can't use more than 4GB of memory, I am not sure about that but at least Electronic art (EA) included 64-bit Libraries..

EDIT2: Your OS can never run in 32-bit, at least it's a reason why you need to re-install Windows from scratch to go back 32-bit

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